Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Diamond Anthroplogie Cardigan

Siobhan Vivian is the author of A Little Friendly Advice and Same Difference. She is also my professor for Writing Youth Literature and the person who revealed to me the biggest hoax in the history of the literary world.

It is this: there are publishing companies where people write entire plots for novels and then other writers write the actual words. Just to be clear, THIS WAS NOT THE CASE FOR THE TWO AFOREMENTIONED, SIOBHAN VIVIAN NOVELS.

But, really, how lame is that. The company decides what sort of novels they think will sell and then just manufacture plots. Then a "writer" fills in the details. It's like popular music only more heartbreaking because it's not common knowledge. I guess I should have known, with so much shit in bookstores. In a way it's reassuring. The majority of English language novelists aren't just getting dumber than they were in days of Dickens, Woolf, Lawrence or Hemingway. The market is just inundated with mass production.

Well, forget about that for now, because Ms. Vivian is definitely my style of writing teacher. Finally someone who won't let the writer talk during workshop. What I really like is that when a student produces something not up to class standards, she doesn't hold back. She tells them to redo it, please. AND we get graded for the notes we give other students about their work, which I love because it motivates lazy people (including me) to actually think about the writing and spend time on their comments. In those respects she's similar to Janet Kafka, who is my all time favorite.

I've basically just been waiting for Siobhan to wear an exciting sweater to class and today it paid off. Check it out, a colorful cardigan from Anthropologie that she got for half price because her friend works for the company. I need Anthropologie connections.

I also wanted to post this really great missing cat poster that I saw on my way to work yesterday. It's sad that Leo is missing, but how brilliant is that sketch!

Target Wins Again

This could work, and it's 20 dollars at Target. Unless I have amazing thrift store luck I'll probably have to drop that kind of dough.

Maximum Authority Wielding Best Student Council Cardigan

Halloween is my very favorite holiday, but I NEVER think of a costume until the day before. Listen to what I've been the past three years: a monkey (the most thought out), a communist panda (that consisted of a panda mask I had from the San Diego Zoo and my red good-night clothes), and a giraffe (pretty much just brown permanent marker splotches and high heels). But this year I'm doing it right (and I'm going to be something human). I'm going to be lady Kanade Jinguji, President of the Miagamy Academy, Maximum Authority Wielding, Best Student Council. Otherwise known as THE BEST STUDENT COUNCIL!

Lost? Probably. Ley me catch you up. This week my boyfriend and I got hooked on this super-fun anime series, Best Student Council and watched the whole thing. I really recommend it. The story is ridiculous and so funny and there is this latent lesbian undertone that is so cute and also surprisingly hot for such an innocent cartoon. Anyway the point is that, as part of the Miyagami Academy uniform, all of the girls wear one of the best sweaters imaginable.

Its a yellow cardigan (my favorite incarnation of the sweater) with red trim. I think I'll have to make one by altering another sweater. I've also scouted out purple hair dye. Ok, so they might actually be wearing blazers, but mine is going to be a sweater, because no one is going to know who I'm supposed to be anyway!

On a final note, the best compliment I ever got was from my boyfriend's little brother. He and his friends were visiting us in Pittsburgh and they all thought I was asleep, but I wasn't. I was faking. Our apartment was a big efficiency so there was no wall between the living room and bedroom. Our guests were talking when Noah said, "tonight I realized that Ellen reminds me of an anime character." I was smiling all the way into sleep!

[image uploaded by tangsoopap on]

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Sweater Curse

If you hand-knit a sweater for someone you are dating, you are doomed to a sudden break-up.
The legend of the sweater curse has gotten a lot of blog press over the years and there are many first hand accounts of the phenomenon, online. A certain Ms. Dean actually uses it as a relationship test (read here). It has its own very thorough and serious Wikipedia article. I advise you to read that article in its entirety so that you are fully warned and prepared, but here are some highlights:
"The significant other may simply not want to wear anything hand-knit. A hand-knit sweater can also subject them to ridicule, either because the sweater looks bad (i.e., poorly made or unfashionable) or conveys overly domestic connotations."
Also, "a sweater may not suit the intended recipient's clothing style or it could make them uncomfortably hot."
"No controlled studies have investigated this phenomenon, and the available evidence is largely anecdotal , which is generally of low reliability due to cognitive bias."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Charcoal J. Crew Cardigan

In two days the G20 will turn Pittsburgh upside down as thousands of protesters from across the country and the world descend upon us. Most likely some of them are going to smash things. Some will probably light fires. A lot of them are going to have dreads. But, before the anarchy begins, I want to make a pro-dreadlocks public service announcement: Friends, you can have a regular job, and even become a supervisor of non-dreaded human beings with nappy hair.
It's great right? This is Melissa, a supervisor at the telephone fund raising company where I work, taking a smoke-break in her Charcoal gray sweater by J. Crew. Do you know what else she's doing? See that orb spider at the top of the post? She's seriously involved in watching it eat a large stink bug. This is no casual smoke-break spider observation. Insects and arachnids are her fascination and her bogymen. Last week she somehow attracted a praying mantis to the parking garage and tonight she spotted the biggest spider I've ever seen outside of a terrarium. At her house, she and her roommates catch moths in jars and fling them (the moths, not the jars) at orb spider webs. Then they vicariously enjoy the feast.
In sweater related news, she picked up the cardigan for 2 dollars and says she wears it, like, everyday.

For more advice on doing the corporate thing with dreadlocks

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Vintage Art Deco Argyle Pullover in Mint Grey

Here is Jill who got this sweater 4 days ago at Avalon Exchange. As soon as I took this picture a friend texted me that I had just taken a picture of his/her (anonymity is crucial in these situations) crush for my sweater blog. Jill has graciously allowed me to email her with any further questions...finally giving me the chance to think out a post about someone I don't know, so that will be coming later. I wanted to get this up before I found another sweater and became overwhelmed by acyrilics. Who knows, maybe there will even a love story if this anonymous texter is successfully smooth and his/her friends don't announce these things on their sweater blogs before the proper times.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Okra Target Cardigan

Kirstin, a senior art student at the University of Pittsburgh, picked this Okra-colored cardigan at target while she was still in high school. Even now, she wears it multiple times a week. Multiple times a week (I've decided) is one of the requirements for "favorite sweater" status. Favorite sweaters must be worn until you can smell them from a two feet away (because no one who doesn't already like you should be getting that closer than that) and then you wash them.

My picture doesn't show it, but the shoulders are puckery where they meet the sleeves and there is a small pocket on the front. Kirstin says that warmth is one of her top two criteria for when sweater shopping and the other is color.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Nathan's Vintage Commodity Exchange Acrylic Sweater

This is Nathan in his favorite (and only) sweater. He says it makes him feel like a spiritual guide, like it's something a priest would wear. Here he has paired it with his delicately pin-striped pajama pants. It is truly one of his favorite outfits. While "in-between-jobs," as he currently is, Nathan likes to wear his sweater to eat beans and bread, watch Survivor Man and read Wikipedia articles about Romans. He says he also likes to wipe his hands on it because it's like a nice big rag.
Since this is his only sweater, and he probably won't be making another appearance on People Wearing Sweaters, I think I'll take the opportunity to say a little bit about him. This morning he made really good sunny-side up eggs and coffee for me, because he is my boyfriend. He does other things because he is my boyfriend. Such as getting me small items at the Walgreen's and rationing the amount of ice cream that I can eat. Goodbye, Nathan. Thanks for being on my blog.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Navy Blue Sisley Cardigan

About once a day I see a person so well put together that I have wonder how they do it. Do they spend 40 minutes trying on clothes every day to achieve a polished outcome? Do all of their things just go together? How do they keep everything clean and pressed? Do they view dressing well as a commitment like a part time job?
I can barely manage to look classy in the three days following my biweekly clothes washing ritual. By the end of my laundry cycle I'm wearing sparkly pink skirts pulled from the bowels of my closet matched (mismatched) with strange t-shirts from second hand shops. There is no continuity with me. I can't imagine these enigmas ever having a badly styled day.
Today I fell off the bus in Shadyside to find that I was standing next to Kashif, one of those mysteriously elegant gentlemen.
And he was wearing, among other things, a sweater.
He said he was on his way to work at the United Colors of Benetton on Walnut Street, so I didn't keep him long. He was wearing a navy blue cardigan from Sisley, a United Colors sister company. Kashif came into possession of this cardigan a month ago but was debuting it today because the weather was cool enough. Sadly, he lost a red cardigan recently, but assured me that he would "probably get another one." If I find him at a good time again, I'll have to ask him what his dry-cleaning schedule looks like.